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December 17, 2012

Newtown: Obama Meditating on Gun Violence

Obama Newtown

If Obama has been particularly cautious and tactical in his policy decisions, the speech and this photo at the Newtown memorial service last night amidst Connecticut’s grieving families felt different. Seldom has the President appeared so emotionally and politically raw, so out there alone with a clear line to cross. If letting the Rice nomination go last week was a familiar act of preserving political capital, is it really possible that that line, and the darkness in Newtown that brings the second-term Father-in-Chief to conscience, is represented by an assault weapons ban?

(photo: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters caption: Mr. Obama prayed during the vigil for the shooting victims.)

  • black_dog_barking

    The image, the composition with its clear lines, the light from above and behind us, and the flow towards that light ,,, great image. Great selection Michael.

    • Scarabus

      Second the motion, bdb! I like that the line of the platform and that of the back of the seat are not quite parallel. Asserts a connection, but introduces a note of tension. Must have been shot with a sorta long focal length and rather wide aperture.

      Focus on Obama is very sharp, but the depth of field leaves the visual emblem of the line he’s thinking of crossing fuzzy and unclear. Judging from what we’ve seen of him thus far, that must be anguishing for him. He strikes me as a guy with plenty of courage, but with an inner drive to see the stakes and the odds clearly before making a commitment.

      [Not saying any of this was necessarily planned or consciously intended. I remember reading that Picasso once told John … rats! … yes! John Russell, in effect, "I just paint the stuff. It's up to critics and historians like you to decide what it means." Well, this is how the photo strikes me, if no one else.]

  • bks3bks

    Obama contemplates who to kill next by remote controlled bomb.


  • Stan B.

    Let’s HOPE the latest compelling, heartfelt speech is actually followed by action…

  • Janis Edwards

    an assault weapons ban that has many many exceptions, and we worry about passing THAT?

  • gasho

    As part of the run-up to the election, I became much more aware of how thoughtful Obama is. I don’t always agree with his decisions, but I know he doesn’t make them lightly. His job is beyond difficult. I have a huge problem with the remote controlled bombing, BKS, but I don’t think it’s helpful to conflate these issues.

    This image is rather meditative in it’s lack of clutter. Having processed this tragedy for a few days in my own mind, along with seeing a great outpouring of anger and a desire for some action — I don’t see how Obama could miss this opportunity to make some progress on gun regulation. As always, though, it’s hard to predict how that progress will be made or what it will look like. When I try to get into Obama’s head.. I usually get it wrong.

  • black_dog_barking

    An informed suggestion: Markos Moulitsas at Daily Kos.

  • wisewebwoman

    Change. A word he’s using again. And again. Which is meaningless unless one specifies.

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